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Biking in Baltimore
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Thursday, September 21 2017 @ 03:27 AM UTC


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Biking in MarylandFrom MDOT!!!

Respect Banner - We're on this road together.

We’re on this road together, expect and respect
is the theme of SHA’s new bicycle safety education effort geared to both drivers and bicyclists.  In an expansion of past “Share the Road” efforts, the new campaign issues a plea to both drivers and bicyclists to follow the rules and laws of the road and anticipate the needs of each other.  Bicycle safety is a two-way street – the safety of bicyclists not only depends upon the bicyclist, but the drivers with whom bicyclists share the road. Bicycles are less visible, quieter, and don’t have a protective barrier around them.
We're on this road expect and respect together.As the popularity of bicycling grows as a healthy and environmentally friendly way to commute, as well as exercise, SHA is committed to providing “Complete Streets” in Maryland.  With each roadway resurfacing project, SHA evaluates the road for bicycle markings and amenities. 
Most drivers tend to look for other drivers, and may unintentionally overlook our friends on two-wheels. Even the slightest mistake on the part of the driver can result in tragic consequences for the bicyclist. 
Bicyclists fare best when they act like and are treated as drivers of vehicles.  By Maryland law, bicycles are vehicles, and bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of motor vehicles.  Staying visible to drivers is key, so bicyclists need to ride in a predictable manner and take important steps to wear the proper gear and equip bicycles appropriately.
Drive Smart!Tips for drivers:     
  • Expect bicyclists on the road.
  • Always keep a safe following distance.
  • In certain conditions, bicycles may position in the center of the lane.
  • Allow at least 3 feet when passing.
  • When turning, yield the right-of-way to bicycles as you would other vehicles.
  • Merge into bike lanes before turning right.
  • Look for bicyclists before opening a car door.
  • Be vigilant when pulling out of driveways or side streets.
  • Watch for children.
  • Stay alert and keep your eyes on the road.  It’s illegal to text and use hand held devices while driving.
  • Use turn signals and obey the speed limit.
Tips for bicyclists:
  • Bike Smart!Bikes are vehicles; obey the rules of the road.  Stop at all red lights and stop signs.
  • Ride defensively – expect the unexpected.
  • Ride with traffic, never against it.
  • Use hand signals when turning or stopping.
  • Stop for pedestrians.
  • Pass on the left when overtaking a vehicle.
  • Use marked bike lanes when present.
  • Never ride more than two abreast.
  • Maryland law restricts bicycles on sidewalks, except where allowed by local ordinance.
  • Make yourself visible day and night with lights, reflectors and gear.
  • Wear a helmet correctly – not tilting back. 
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8-9-13 MBPAC Meeting Minutes Comments

Biking in Maryland

Jim Swift noticed that there were a couple of outdated laws in the current version of the fine or penalty deposit schedule for violations of vehicle laws as published by the District Court of Maryland. The outdated laws were the requirement that bicyclists must use shoulders and have bells on their bicycles. Peace officers rely on this fine schedule when writing traffic citations. He proposed that MBPAC send a letter to the District Court requesting that the fine schedule be revised to show the current laws.

[B' Spokes: I thought that was interesting.]

(The above will be posted soon on this page:

And this from the Government and Legislative Affairs Subcommittee:

[B' Spokes: I find it rather ironic that WMATA is not a Maryland state agency while MTA is a state agency (which MBPAC can advise) and has no such pointed understanding of bicycle and pedestrian issues that is given to Baltimore Metro bus drivers. Not that there is anything wrong with pointing out something nice happening within the state but still I for one would like to see more support of at least getting Baltimore Metro area bus drivers up to the same level of bicycle friendliness I see in DC and Montgomery County.]
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Walk to School Day and Park(ing) Day as missed opportunities for community organizing

Biking in Maryland[B' Spokes: I would summarize this article as "How to get more kids walking to school, coordinate a mess of local and state agencies."]

<a href=""></a>;
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Comments on Natasha Pettigrew's memorial ride

Biking in Marylandimage

The first thing that impressed me was Kenniss Henry's smile. (Natasha's mother, pictured) Before the ride she detailed her fight to get jail time for the driver and the fact the hit-and-run driver was represented by one of our elected state representatives. That would get my goat too, I didn't ask details but she said she filed ethics violations.

It was really nice to see so many come out and show support. It was a very friendly group and stuck around after the ride to talk. I got a real sense of a close community. I even made a new friend on the ride.

Kenniss was telling me that she is out walking more and how bad the drivers are. I hear you on that one, we really need to get Maryland out of the top 10 pedestrian fatality ranking..
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Is there support for bike lanes?

Biking in Marylandimage
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Ride raises money, awareness for bicycle safety

Biking in MarylandB' Spokes: Nice coverage of Larry's ride and some of our bike laws. I'll add the way I see it our biggest problem with our 3' foot law is that some are promoting it as &quot;You have to allow 3 feet to pass, unless you can't,&quot;, like MDOT. :( Granted the law is poorly written and summaries from MDOT have been even worse but till it is challenged in the court or we get an Attorney Generals opinion no one can say it means that or something else.

The majorly controversial 3rd exception where the &quot;unless you can't comes from:
(iii) The highway on which the vehicle is being driven is not wide enough to lawfully pass the bicycle, EPAMD, or motor scooter at a distance of at least 3 feet.

My notes: It says highway not lane, that is the width of the whole roadway has to be less than 14'. And this does not say unlawful passing of cyclists is now lawful, safe passing is always required, 3 feet or otherwise, if you hit the cyclist while passing it wasn't a safe pass.

The article I am referring to: <a href=""></a>;
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Our Director of Bicycle and Pedestrian Accesses spotted at 2013 NCUTCD Summer Meeting

Biking in Marylandimage

Michael Jackson is the one second from the left.

Via John Brooking
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Maryland deaths from air pollution highest in U.S.

Biking in Marylandby Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Maryland Reporter

Long-term exposure to air pollution leads a higher percentage of the population in Maryland to die prematurely than in any other state, according to a new study on the impact of air quality on health.

In a study released in late August, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that emissions from cars, trucks, industrial smokestacks, trains, boats, and commercial heating systems contribute to the death of 113 people per 100,000 population per year in Maryland—more than any other state.

Acute problem in Baltimore

The problem is particularly acute in Baltimore, which boasts the highest emissions-related mortality rate of large cities in the country, according to the study. Of every 100,000 residents in the city, the study found that 130 were likely to die prematurely each year of causes related to air pollution, more than in New York City, Los Angeles, and the entire Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

Other Maryland cities even worse than Baltimore

Other cities in Maryland fared even worse than Baltimore, according to the study. Frederick, Reisterstown, and Montgomery Village all have rates close to Baltimore’s, while Magnolia—a small town in northeastern Maryland—leads the state with an emissions-related mortality rate of 140 deaths per 100,000 people per year.

<a href=""></a>;
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State’s update of bike and pedestrian plan could change funding priorities

Biking in MarylandState is halfway through re-evaluation process

by Elizabeth Waibel, Gazette

The state is updating its Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, which could influence how easy it is to get around by bike or by walking in communities across Maryland.

The plan, adopted in 2002 and now midway through a substantial update process, sets policy goals that affect funding for things like capital improvement projects.

Kate Sylvester, a community planner with the Maryland Department of Transportation, said the department is required by law to update the plan along with the Maryland Transportation Plan, which is also being updated. Over the past decade, however, people have prioritized improvements to make bicycling and walking easier in their communities.

“Ten years have passed, and an awful lot has changed for bike and pedestrian priorities,” Sylvester said.

Since 2002, more data has testified to the economic value and public health benefits of bicycling and walking, Sylvester said, and Maryland residents have made it known that they want infrastructure that supports biking and walking.

<a href=";template=gazette">;template=gazette</a>;
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KEEP MARYLAND SMART ON CLIMATE (by marginalizing bicycling???)

Biking in MarylandB' Spokes: Really, no mention of increasing bicycling in the plan? Shame on you. Our bicycle modal share is below average. The amount of state roads that meet the BLOC goal in the Attainment Report has remained unchanged and below the goal for decades (and the goal was set too low to begin with.) TOD with our really high pedestrian fatality rate, like that's going to work out well. Livable communities with no way to bike or walk out of them, another failure to see the big picture. Electric cars to the rescue? What's the biggest contributor to greenhouse gases? Again another failure to see the big picture. - Sign the petition and request more attention on bicycling.

The petition to say &quot;thank you&quot;: <a href=""></a>;

The plan to address climate change: <a href=""></a>;

The 2013 &quot;Attainment&quot; Report: <a href=""></a>;

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Maryland should adopt the Idaho stop law.

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The state should support what kind of bicycle facilities?

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